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mini-resolution: drop a few things from my to-do list

by Meagan Francis on February 4, 2012

In the nearly four weeks since I began my series of mini-resolutions, I’ve made dozens of small, simple steps to improve my home, nurture my family, care for myself, and support my work and passions. Today is my last day of mini-resolutions, inspired by a post I wrote almost exactly one year ago called “Do Fewer Things. Do Them Better.”

From the post:

I think of myself as somebody who likes to have a lot of options, even though I generally end up feeling overwhelmed by them in the end. Or disappointed. I’m thinking of the last time I went to one of those all-you-can-eat buffet chain restaurants and was dazzled by the spectacle of food options in front of me. Fifteen minutes and one upset stomach later, I realized it was pointless to have so many food options in the buffet when none of them were worth eating…

The truth is, every day brings with it plenty of opportunities for us to do better–not perfect, but better–at small, familiar things instead of chasing down the next new thing that will “make” us more: fulfilled, successful, better parents, more in shape. The more I try to do everything, the more elaborate a schedule I cook up–the more I slack off, drop the ball, leave things hanging. Because I can’t do everything and do it well. So-

Do fewer things.

Do them better.

(read the whole post)

As I enter a busy season of the year – conferences, deadlines, opportunities, events – I’m trying to remember that nobody can do it all, and that sometimes the best thing I can do for my business, my home, my family, and my self is to just do less.

So today’s mini-resolution is to take a hard look at the commitments, obligations, activities and possibilities on my to-do list, to-dream list, and calendar, and make some choices. It’s the time of year that my calendar could use some pruning. How about yours?

Thanks so much for following along with my mini-resolutions! My very first email newsletter (which is separate from the email RSS feed if you’re already getting that) will be coming out on Monday, featuring links to a bunch of my favorite mini-resolutions and other posts, plus a special offer just for newsletter readers. If you don’t want to miss it, subscribe today!

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Stephanie Love February 5, 2012 at 1:20 am

It is always good to have a lot of options. That helps you to choose the best.
I also have a lot of events coming up this week and could do with a bit of pruning. I totally agree with the title of your earlier post- “Do Fewer Things. Do Them Better.” I believe everyone should follow this policy.

Thanks for sharing.

-Stephanie

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jessica February 5, 2012 at 2:21 pm

i’m expecting my second child in march, so now is a good time too pare down the to-do list for sure, but i’m still working on this one! thanks for the food for thought!

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Tara February 5, 2012 at 9:29 pm

For me, having a lot of options means doing a lot of things badly. I never thought I was one of those people who had trouble saying no, but really, I am. The problem is that I don’t want to miss a good opportunity. I don’t want to miss out.

Almost a year and a half ago, I made the decision to quit my full time teaching job to stay home with my children. Or that’s what I told my husband. Really, deep in my heart, I wanted to quit working to blog full time. I wanted to go on trips and attend conferences and be glamorous. I was really disappointed and frustrated when it turned out that being a stay-at-home mom was a full time job – and a hard one at that!

It’s hard to say no to great opportunities. Even now, I work part time from home (for http://AboutOne.com ) and still do my blog stuff in the evenings. I have to say no to a lot of trips and a lot of conference speaking and attending opportunities, though, because I do believe my children should come first. I want them to come first.

All that to say congratulations on making the decision to pare down your commitments. Good luck maintaining your resolve!

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Catwoman February 8, 2012 at 2:43 pm

My favorite to-do list was which I saw in an episode of Spongebob, in which Patrick has written a to-do list, and the only item on it was “nothing”. He took the list and a pencil, and he erased the “nothing’ item from it, and then he felt satisfied:)

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